Morgan Parra of France cuts a dejected figure after the defeat to Wales at the Stade France at the weekend. Photograph Michael Steele/Getty Images

Problems continued to mount for the under-pressure France coach, Philippe Saint-André, after the scrum-half Morgan Parra and the centre Wesley Fofana (...)

  Morgan Parra starts for France, after bringing them back into contention off the bench against Ireland. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Philippe Saint-André was this week eulogising France scrumhalf Morgan Parra, admiring the tactical nous of a player who, at 26, is in his prime. Why (...)

Peter O’Mahony: the forward is yet to taste success aginst England at senior level.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

There’s an increasing debate about the entertainment value being provided by this season’s rugby fare in general, notably the current RBS Six Nations (...)

Rhapsody in blue: Brian O’Driscoll was often the prime exponent of offloads in Schmidt’s teams. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ireland stand on the brink of history. Victory against England would equal the all-time Irish record of 10 wins in succession achieved in 2002 and 200(...)

Ireland outhalf Jonathan Sexton  is given treatment for a cut to his eye after a clash of heads with France’s Mathieu Bastareaud during the Six Nations at Aviva Stadium. Photograph:   Michael Steele/Getty Images

“There is a great unknown unknown.” Prof Jack Phillips, neurosurgeon. Only place to go now is the neurosurgeon’s office. “I had a chat with qui(...)

France’s Vincent Debaty  made a big impact on his introduction against Ireland and had a hand in the French try. Photo: Franck Fifefrank/AFP/Getty

Last Monday I highlighted the crucial timing of the bench’s entry. This of course is only part of the story. Not long ago being selected on the bench (...)

Jamie Heaslip is out of the England encounter with broken vertebrae. Photograph:  Michael Steele/Getty Images

Ireland’s seemingly most durable and indestructible player, Jamie Heaslip, remains the only casualty from last Saturday’s uber-physical, bosh fest wi(...)

The clash that led to Johnny Sexton and Mathieu Bastareaud ending up in the blood bin at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho. 7:17

Every time rugby is in danger of becoming too one-dimensional the game’s governing body, World Rugby (formerly IRB), have generally devised law change(...)

 Ireland’s Katie Fitzhenry on the attack against Italy. The Blackrock back will start at inside centre against France. Photograph: Ivan Marianelli / Inpho

Ireland v France (Ashbourne RFC, Meath, Friday, 7.30pm)The Ireland women’s team to face France shows one change with Blackrock’s Katie Fitzhenry repla(...)

Ireland’s Simon Zebo in action against Italy in the  Six Nations in Rome. Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters

Saturday will be a special game for Simon Zebo and his extended Irish-French family, the first time this son of a Martinique-born French athlete will(...)